In the Art of the City

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Text by Anushruti Adhikari

After the success of two previous art exhibitions held in 2009 and 2012, The Siddharth Art Gallery along with Siddharth Art Foundation launched an even bigger and one of the most promising events of 2017, “Kathmandu Triennale” which brought together 40 artists from around the globe and 20 artists from Nepal itself.

The theme, “The City: My Studio; My Life”, initiated by The Siddharth Art Foundation team itself was later refined by the official curator of the event, Philippe Van Cauteren.

Art in the City
Art in the City

The event has brought in numerous artists from all over the world who have come here to interact with the people of the Kathmandu City while also expressing themselves through their renowned artworks. The project was in function from last March and the exhibition was held from March 24th to 25th.

The artworks were not limited to a single location, rather it was spread in places like Taragaun Mueseum, Nepal Art Council, Siddharth Art Gallery, Patan Mueseum, and so on.

The artists were selected nearly six months ago, based on the ideas they proposed for the event. International artists were selected by their work, and the display of mixed variety of arts provided the audience a complete display of contemporary and experimental art.

One of the prime aims of the exhibition was to help artists bond with the people of the city as they worked on their art. The elements of the city life, whether it was urbanization, migration, the buzzing roads or the busy life, the artists got to be part of it, because not only did they display their art in museums and galleries, some took their paintbrushes out in the open to paint the real city.

A rectangle painted by Amrit Karki in Kirtipur.
A rectangle painted by Amrit Karki in Kirtipur

One of these artists includes Amrit Karki, a KU art graduate who was able to spread his brushes on the walls of Kirtipur.

“I’ve always wanted to do a project like this, especially in Kirtipur,” he says. “In the beginning, people weren’t really corporative. But as time went on, I got help from my friends and even a woman willing to create this change for the better, some agreed in the condition that I paint their houses exactly as they were before we came here. Architects like Ranjit Puri and Swornima Shakya helped me greatly, while the volunteers were helpful and fearless, ready to go against all odds to change my imagination into a reality.”

Art in the City
Art in the City

The exhibition also consists of art that one can simply feel, like Manish Lal Shrestha’s Project 1336 and Bidhata K.C.’s “In between”, which are the type of arts accessible even for the blind as well.

The people involved in the projects came from various types of occupations ranging from environmentalist to social workers, lawyers and so on. With each art and artist, another dimension of art was born.

International artists like Francis Alys, Cai
Quo Qiang, Martin Travers and Nepali artists like Karan Shrestha, Bidhata KC and Ang Tsherin Sherpa will also be a part of the exhibition.

During the beginning of the project, 35 young kids were trainned for different skills like Festival Management, Event Skills, Carpentry, Documentation and so on. These kids later guided the foreign artists who had travelled all the way to Kathmandu to bond with the city and make an art of their own.

As for the future, The Siddharth Gallery Art and Foundation plans to colab with Photo Kathmandu for its upcoming Kathmandu Triennale Exhibition which will be held in 2020.

Art in the City
Art in the City

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